Strength Training for High School and Middle School Athletes

According to Heather Williams, DPT, 50% of boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 16 compete in organized sports programs throughout the year. With this many kids participating in sports, a strength and conditioning program for injury prevention is  important. There is a misconception that pre-teens and teens should not participate in strength training but  young adults can start training as early as age 8 depending on their interest in conditioning. It is necessary to make sure they train with a certified strength and conditioning coach or a certified personal trainer that understands how to train young adults correctly. Girls and boys will improve endurance, overall fitness level, and performance with a well-designed and supervised program. Strength training will help protect their ligaments, tendons, and bones from injury. Stronger muscles mean that youths are less likely to tear ligaments or tendons. Lifting will also help prevent broken bones because strength training also increases bone density. Studies by the American College of Sports Medicine show that strength training may also prevent overuse injuries during the sports season. Not only does strength training have benefits for the body, but it also helps with mental toughness and confidence with their bodies. Strength training is not meant to be confused with powerlifting or body building which involves a lot of heavy lifting. This is not beneficial to young people until they are done growing or interested in pursuing powerlifting as a sport.


At Wright Training we work with a lot of young people ages 8 to 18 and it is amazing to watch them develop as athletes. Even if they do not participate in organized sports it can be beneficial. Â It is very inspiring as their coach to watch them progress with Olympic lifts and learn to push themselves anaerobically. One of my favorite parts about working with young adults is helping them with knee pain, hip pain, and back pain. Through strength training, many of our middle and high school athletes have eliminated their pain and discomfort. I never realized so many kids could have growing pains or pains from their sports. It also has been very rewarding to see their performance and confidence soar as they get stronger. In my opinion, all teens and pre-teens should be involved in some type of conditioning program to help them develop into their bodies quicker and safer. This will make them a much better athletes, improve their overall emotional attitude and promote a healthy, active lifestyle.

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